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4 steps to protecting your assets and finances in divorce

The beginning of the year marks the beginning of divorce season. That's the time of the year when the number of people filing for divorce increases, spiking in February and March. If you are considering a divorce, there are a few things you should do first to protect your finances.

-- Know how much money you have. Make sure you know if it is in your soon-to-be ex-spouse's name, your name or both. This includes assets like mortgages, investments, bank accounts and more.

-- Make copies of financial statements. You need to get everything in writing that you can. Don't rely on electronic copies, though, as your spouse could change the passwords and lock you out of the joint accounts.

-- Get your hands on some cash. It's important to make sure you have enough cash to pay the bills until your divorce is final. Don't completely wipe out joint accounts, as this could put you in a negative light with the judge.

-- Put together a team of professionals. While you know that you need a good divorce attorney to handle your affairs, you should also consider financial and tax experts.

-- Decide what assets you want and what assets you need. You may choose mediation or some other alternative dispute resolution, but your soon--to-be ex may not be amenable to it. Make a list of the assets you must have and those that you want. If you're not sure, your attorney can help you decide.

These are a few tips that can help you prepare for divorce, ensuring that you are protected financially.

Source: Business Insider, "How to keep from losing everything in a divorce, in 6 steps," Emmie Martin, Feb. 01, 2017

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Commandments of Family Law

  1. The only truth your children need to know is that you both love them unconditionally, and that this isn't their fault.
  2. Take the high road — everyone wins when you do what's best for your kids.
  3. Negotiate but don't capitulate — if you are being pushed toward something detrimental for your children, stand your ground.
  4. You can only control yourself and how you respond. Don't engage.
  5. Do set up rules and responsibilities. Kids feel better when routine is continued.
  6. You are still their parent — don't be afraid to be one.
  7. Disneyland is in California, not in your home. Don't set up unreasonable expectations.
  8. It is not their job to take care of you. Repeat that to them. Often.
  9. Yelling is for sports — not court. Good lawyers strongly advocate without being disrespectful to opposing parties.
  10. Fair is a place you go to get cheese curds. Aside from that, nothing in life is fair.

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